Bayou View Middle School has invested $2 million in safety measures to control access to the campus.
The first project will be a security perimeter fence, which will include a gatehouse with controlled access. Other projects include internal security measures and mechanisms based around visually-oriented mass communication.
Director of Safety Bryan Vaughn said that safety department administrators can secure doors in the whole district, even if they’re not currently on that campus. Vaughn said that the panic button system can unlock doors as quickly as it can lock them.
The changes to security include a new door lock schedule. All exterior doors on both the north and south campuses of the high school will be locked until 7 a.m. on school days. After 7 a.m., six entrances to the campuses will be open for students to enter, and doors will be locked again when classes start at 8:20 a.m.
Outdoor protection for campuses requires the monitoring of numerous surveillance camera feeds—which many school districts might not have the manpower to watch 24/7.
The fence is 7 feet tall and is locked during school hours.
"He got into the 1200 building because that door was unlocked and unstaffed and that we say that is a security failure," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
Since 2013, there have been more than 300 education-campus related gunfire incidents in the U.S.—an average of about one per week. With an increase in hostile events, gunfire incidents and other security breaches have prompted parents and administrators to examine and improve campus security.
Safety and security must be front of mind for university and college administrators. Protecting the wellbeing of students, staff, faculty, and guests is not only simply the right thing to do, but it also reduces risk and exposure for the institution itself.
Schools are able to issue trespass warnings to anyone who makes a disturbance or is believed to be dangerous to the safety and health of students. If a person trespasses and returns, law enforcement may arrest them.